April 2012


A disgraced former Cumbrian council chairman has been jailed for four years after admitting abusing a school boy.

Tony Brunskill, 66, is already serving a 10 year sentence for offences against three school boys.

Carlisle Crown Court was told this morning that the latest crimes, carried out between 1979 and 1981, happened when the boy was aged between 11 and 13.

Brunskill, who was wearing a grey sweatshirt and white t-shirt, hung his head in shame as the facts of the abuse were read to the court.

He had previously pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault against the boy and one charge of a more serious sexual assault.

The court was told that Brunskill, formerly of Salkeld Dykes, Penrith, groomed the boy by singling him out at a school in Lancashire.

Brunskill was the school’s head of English and head of house.

The complainant told police Brunskill was “popular, fun and flamboyant” who had responsibility for school plays.

The abuse began, the court heard, after the victim was bullied and had gone to Brunskill’s flat to talk about the problem.

Nothing happened on the first occasion but over time Brunskill started to send cake and cola to the boy and then later lavished him with flying lessons, driving lessons and a camera and dark room.

Physical contact followed with hugging and kissing then other sex acts.

Brunskill, the former Eden council chairman, was even invited to the overseas home of the boy.

Brunskill told the boy he loved him but that if he told anyone it would be “game over.”

The complainant told police that Brunskill was “like a spider weaving a web of entrapment.”

When he moved to the senior school the abuse stopped but Brunskill sent him £5 in the post.

Years later he turned up “unannounced and uninvited” at the boy’s university and told him he had bought him his first car – a Datsun 100.

When the boy got married, Brunskill sent a telegram which was read out at the reception.

The boy said he had never been able to watch his wedding video.

Sentencing Judge Paul Batty QC said Brunskill was “deeply manipulative”.

He said: “You debauched and corrupted the boy for your own sexual gratification. You are deeply disgusting.”

He imposed a four year jail term on top of the 10 years that Brunskill is already serving.